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Chapter 9

CHAPTER 9 – Group processes.docx

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PSYC 2120
Ward Struthers

CHAPTER 9 – Group processes Intragroup: processes that happen within a group Intergroup: processes that happen between groups of people - Turner states: a group exists when two or more individuals perceive themselves to be members of the same social category - Rupert brown: a group exists when two or more people define themselves as members of it and when its existence is recognized by atleast one another. Social facilitation: when people do better on a task in the presence of others than when they are alone - presence of people can lead to poorer performance - people who perform a difficult task do more slowly in front of other people than when they are alone this is social inhibition. Social inhibition: when people do worse on a task in presence of others than when they are alone - mere presence of people increases our physiological arousal (energy, excitement). This arousal enhances whatever a persons dominant tendency is on a particular task. - High arousal therefore leads to better performance on tasks that are simple/well learned - High arousal leads to poorer performance on tasks that are difficult/less familiar Three explanations why presence of others lead to arousal 1. mere presence of others - presence of others is energizing - the presence of others serves as a source of arousal and in turns causes social facilitation for easy tasks 2. evaluation apprehension - peoples concern of being evaluated by audience - presence of an evaluation audience is a stronger influence on performance than the mere presence of others - supportive audience can lead to worse performance on difficult or unfamiliar tasks. We choke under pressure of our audiences high expectations 3. distraction - presence of other people is distractions - if we are preforming easy task, distraction isnt problem - if its hard task, distraction impairs our performance o Ex: people leaving a parking space take longer to pull out when someone is waiting for them compared to if no one was waiting Social Loafing - a group produced reduction in individual output on easy tasks where contributions are pooled - One factor that influences social loafing is whether people believe that their own contribution will be recognized - When people socially loaf they do it in part because they can hide in the crowd. Making their outputs identifiable decreases peoples tendency to withdraw effort in a group setting. - People do not socially loaf when their own outputs will be evaluated especially if these outputs will be compared to others outputs Ex: working in a group and each person has to take responsibility to work on something and the professor will know who did what, you will be more likely to expand your effort than if your work was all pooled together with everyone else’s efforts - another factor that is whether you believe your efforts will have an impact on the groups performance –if you work harder, better performance will result. People who must perform a difficult task for group don’t reduce their effort, even when individual output wont be evaluated. They feel they can make unique important contribution to group. On the other people who believe their efforts aren’t necessary for success of group tend to display less effort. - People are motivated to work hard on a group task if it is important to them. For example: prof writing letter of recommendation for you. You will work harder. - Social compensation: if a project is important to you, you may work even harder to compensate for the poor performance or social loafing of others. People try to compensate when they expect their partner to perform poorly. Collective Effort Model - a model which describes peoples motivation to exert effort in group tasks as depending on whether they believe their distinct efforts will be identifiable, their efforts will make a difference in the groups success, and they’ll experience positive outcomes. Group cohesion - highly cohesive groups perform better than less cohesive ones Group Polarization - occurs when the initial tendencies of group members become more extreme following group discussion - this process can lead groups to make risker decisions than individuals would make alone—called risky shift - ex: when people choose between making a safe or risky choice, groups are more willing to make the risky choice than individuals who act alone - polarization is toward more extreme version of the groups initial individual views - when groups are inclined toward risk, the process of polarization does make them take greater risks What leads groups to polarize their views? Hear more persuasive arguments - group members hear persuasive arguments that support their own views including points they hadn’t previously considered, which can intensify their views - repeating arguments during group discussion can lead to greater attitude polarization - group members are likely to hear a greater number of persuasive arguments because they look for views that support their position Learning group norms - group polarization can occur following discussion because discussion leads us to more accurately assess the norms of our group - before group discussion, we have inaccurate understanding of group member views on a topic, and having discussion can increase how accurately we perceive them - people want to fit in but also be “better than” other members of groups - we may express even more extreme attitude as a way of demonstrating that our views are strong and in the right direction Groupthink - a group decision making style that is characterized by an excessive tendency among group members to seek concurrence(be of same opinion), consensus, unanimity(unity), as opposed to making the best decision - groups who show this decision making style overestimate the morality and invulnerability of their group and ignore of even fight back discrepant views - this can turn lead group members with discrepant views to avoid stating them for fear of rejection from the group - groups make see their chosen choice of action as highly likely to succeed, and as being based in the groups fundamental goodness and morality - close-mindedness, meaning when group members wont hear different views from outgroup members - this type of group isolation means that no efforts are made to seek information from outgroup members and any information that is revieved is dismissed as unimportant - groups with strong and rigid leader are at greater risks of closed-mindedness because such leaders are unwilling to seek outside information - pressure toward uniformity is another factor that contributes to groupthink - this pressure is common among groups that are highly cohesive, meaning those that are composed of people from similar backgrounds - Cohesiveness can hurt performance in some cases, ex when creative innovative ideas are needed - Highly cohesive groups made higher quality decisions than non cohesive groups under conditions of no threat, but much lower quality decisions under conditions of high threat - The lack of caution and preference for risk that characterize groups that are prone to groupthink are associated with a perception of exaggerated capability (i.e the group thinks its more able than it really is). This exaggerated sense of group efficacy, facilitated by group polarization leads to critical decisions revolving around a decision option that is likely to fail Solutions to groupthink - group members, and in particular group leaders need to encourage open contributions from all group members as well as to emphasize the importance of open criticism - groups with norm of engaging in constructive criticism make better decisions - criticism from ingroup members is often easier for people to accept than critism from outgroup members - encouraging open contributions and criticism is particularly important in cases in which not all group members have the same information - group members also need to regularly seek input from non group members - groups should recruit diverse members - groups that consist of people from diverse backgrounds can have problems with miscommunication and misunderstanding such groups have a broader range of opinions, attitudes, and thoughts - as long as group have good communication this diversity can lead to greater flexibility and creativity as well as better decisions - training a person in the group about the dangers of biased group decision making and having this person inform other group members about these issues can also effective - forewarning
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